Highest court hears case of Plainville teen accused of encouraging friend’s suicide

The case of a Plainville teenager accused of encouraging her friend to commit suicide went before the state’s highest court on Thursday. 

A judge will decide whether the manslaughter charge against Michelle Carter can move forward, whether she should be charged as a juvenile, and if the case should be dismissed. 

Prosecutors say Carter helped her friend, Conrad Roy, come up with a plan to kill himself in 2014.

They also say she then sent him text messages pushing him to kill himself when he procrastinated.

Roy, 18, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck two years ago. 

With Carter’s father looking on, the teen’s defense lawyer argued that Massachusetts is one of a handful of states that has not passed laws making what she did a crime. 

They argued what she said to Roy is free speech because there was no manipulation through lies or threats. 

The judges asked prosecutors whether charging the teen might open the door to prosecuting people for counselling terminally ill people considering suicide. 

Lawyers said it typically takes the court about four months to make a decision, but a decision might come quicker than normal because Carter turns 20 soon, and that would make it difficult to try her as a youthful offender. 

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